Help! I need info/job advice on HP


Aug 20, 2002
Well, something interesting happened on Friday.

I got a call from a corporate recruiter at America West Airlines, asking me to come interview for the position of Sales Rep, National Accounts.

While the job sounds really fun, and I believe I will excel at it...I''m also told that HP''s CEO recently said that all front-line personnel will keep their jobs, and that any cost-cutting will be done at the expense of management positions.

You guessed it...this job is considered entry-level management.

Now, I currently live in PHX and have no intent on leaving, hence my desire to jump from my job at Alaska Airlines over to America West. If I stay with Alaska, the only way to move up in the company is to move to Seattle...and I hate rain!!!

However, Alaska is FAR more stable than America West is, and while I know I won''t be moving up the corporate ladder if I stay with Alaska, my job is very, VERY secure there, making halfway decent money.

From what I''m told, HP dismantled their sales force about two or three years ago, and have come to the conclusion that doing so was a horrendous mistake.

Still, I''m less than impressed with their track record, so it definitely gives me a reason for concern.

I''m 30 years old and have been with Alaska for 11 years now. Given my situation, what would you folks do?

And if you have any inside info on America West Airlines, please share it with me. I need to get back to this recruiter this week.

Thanks in advance!
Stay at AK, HP is still a looney bin. The airline runs from disaster to disaster, its how they justify doing things. Projects start, get ballyhooed, then no follow thru.

Don''t believe the recruiter, they have to sell a pig in a poke. HP is a rollercoaster, but AK is smooth and predictable.
I''ve worked at AWA for 13 years. I''d stay at Alaska if I were you. It''s tough to give up 11 years of working for a company to go to a position as you described as "entry level". First ones to go are usually the last ones to arrive.

Our financial position is not the greatest. Bankruptcy could be coming, although it seems slightly less serious now than just a few weeks ago.

If you have to move to Seattle, you can use your flight priviledges to come back to the sun any time you want!

I''d stay put.
Okay guys, here is another situation. I''m retired from another airline in res. I understand that HP is hiring in reno in res. I truly miss my job--16 years in res and tour department--and the outside world is crazy. What do you say to this? My retirement at another airline is pennies to say the least and working as a travel agent is the pitts. Do I go for it or not??
On 4/19/2003 3:33:14 AM drifterreno wrote:

Okay guys, here is another situation. I''m retired from another airline in res. I understand that HP is hiring in reno in res. I truly miss my job--16 years in res and tour department--and the outside world is crazy. What do you say to this? My retirement at another airline is pennies to say the least and working as a travel agent is the pitts. Do I go for it or not??


Sure, why not? You''re not going to lose your retirement, small as it may be, if you take another job, are you?
Assuming the answer is no, then what have you got to lose?
Won''t loose my $27.00 per month retirement, medical or flight passes. I really want this job. You see I really miss reservations at an airline. That may seem strange to some, but the outside world is terrible. The people running travel agencies don''t know what they''re doing when it comes to employees. Mine took us from salary to 45% commission on the commissions paid and you had to make 5000 in commissions per month to make that---the fact that no one is traveling--or wern''t after the first of the year doesn''t matter.
I just want to be in my own little cubicle and do my job--the one I know how to do. I don''t mind monitors or goals. I know how to sell flights. I just want a pay check--anything over minimum wages and a chance to make more. I want the flexibility of swapping and have some vacation time. I want to do my job. Do it well, and go home and relax. Soooo ya''ll pray for me!! I love HP. I''ve flown on them ever since I''ve been out west and my parents have nothing but good things to say about them. Good people and clean planes. Wish me luck!!!
Any tips on the interview process would be appreciated. Haven''t had an interview in 17 years--and things have changed.
Be careful - As it is entry level management your pay may not be fantastic. Also keep in mind the benefits you have at AK. What happens if you dislike HP? What happens if HP let''s you go, then you start all over again.

You will find some very talented people at HP, but watch out for Joette Schmidt and Ron Cole.
305 -

you say that you''ve been with AS for 11 years. Think about all the changes that you''ve seen at Alaska in the last 11 years, almost all for the better. Think about the growth you''ve seen while working with Alaska. 11 years ago Alaska didn''t fly to BOS, IAD, DCA, EWR, MIA, MCO, YYC, YVR, ZIH, ZLO, DEN, CUN, ORD.... (others?) - We are still expanding, looking at other cities, routes. I just recently saw a posting for CSM at MCO. There''s a position in management that would allow you to move to a city that doesn''t see nearly the rain SEA does, and offers some excellent recreational opportunities. It''s not PHX, but it''s not rainy, gray SEA either. My point is that, in your shoes, I would stick around and see where the future takes us at Alaska. We''ve changed considerably in the last 3-4 years. 3-4 years from now we are going to be a different airline, I guarantee it. You probably won''t recognize Alaska as you know it now, or knew it 11 years ago. And I think the changes will be mostly positive. That will open opportunities for you to grow professionally without having to move to SEA if you really don''t want to. Most other airlines these days don''t offer the stability that I think Alaska currently offers us. America West included.
Good for you! Good for you! Stay away from HP for work, the people you would have directly reported to would have made your life miserable, but they would have done it with a smile.

Congrats. Hang in there with AS.
Well, I went to the interview at HP.

Bottom line? The job I was offered started at $10,000 a year LESS than I currently make, and would require 50% travel (far more than the 30% they initially mentioned), along with being responsible for paying all hotel, rental car, meals, and other travel expenses out of pocket and being reimbursed later after they were reviewed.

Apparently HP had their National Sales Reps based from the various regions they represented. They then changed the structure, requiring ALL of them be based in PHX, spending two weeks at Corporate and then a full two weeks in the field visiting accounts.

According to the HR manager, more than 75% of the reps chose not to relocate to PHX and simply left the company when faced with this choice. To me, that says a lot about where they thought this company was headed.

Needless to say, I politely informed them that I''m no longer interested in pursuing this position with their company.
RNO Res is pretty well run. Its a good group of managers there, and Ann, the head of the place is a wonderful person, she really is well liked.

You have nothing to lose, so go for it, a good res agent is hard to find (and very hard to keep!). Just remember what I said about AWA, nothing ever gets done there because there is always another crisis waiting in the wings to destroy any work on a project you are doing, and there is always too many layers of middle management to keep the company from doing the right thing.
HPearley--thanks and I am finding that I truly love it at HP. The people are great in res, and it seems to me that the airline is doing things right in appreciating it''s agents. It''s a comfortable feeling being there and I plan enjoy my stay. Seems that they truly work as a whole team in RNO and I''m happy about that.
I spent a week there at res during a Fed Dept of Labor audit, defending the place, we came out OK, but I had a great time. Wish I could remember all the managers there, but we did a good job of scaring the hell out of them prior to the Feds arrival!

RNO Res has survived while MCI and BWI res were shut down. They do a better job there.